AN INCAPABLE COLT
In Yongan Gospel Church
During my stay in Shanghai in the winter of 1941, Dr. Song happened to have returned from a mission in Southeast Asia. When he learned that I was unemployed, he offered to recommend me for work in the Southeast Asia where a great gospel revival was going on. He said, ※I can write you a letter of recommendation.§
I felt that, since I was young and would not be able to withstand temptations, I was not fit to work in an affluent society. I therefore politely declined.
Soon afterwards, a letter from Fujian notified us that a retreat would be held in Fuzhou by the Fujian Chinese Evangelical Seminary alumni. Following the lead of the Holy Spirit, in early December I headed south in a ship operated by the British Swire & Company. By the time the ship sailed close to the river Minjiang, just a few more hours before we were to reach Fuzhou, there was breaking news that the Pacific War had broken out. Japan had declared war on Britain and the United States of America. As a result, British ships had become Japanese targets of attack. All of a sudden, everyone on board was overcome with the fear of war. To avoid being attacked, the ship was anchored off the coast of Fuqing County instead of Mawei, a harbor of strategic military importance.
The distance between Fuqing and Fuzhou was only about 50 miles, but during the wartimes of the 1940＊s such a journey could be most wearisome. It took us 3 or 4 days of walking, climbing hills, boat rides, lodgings and sedan-chair rides before arriving at the Fuzhou wharf. I was tired and penniless. The cost of the rickshaw-ride from the wharf to the dormitory in the seminary was $5. Though I was penniless, ※my Father was rich§; I called on Him for provision and then went ahead to take the ride. At the entrance of the seminary, as I was picking up my luggage,someone called my name ※Duan§ (that was the name the elderly family members used to call me). I looked up and saw my cousin, Dexin Zheng, who happened to pass by on his way to work that afternoon. ※You＊re back!§ he said, taking out some cash from his pocket to give to me. No more, no less; exactly $5! I paid for the ride. I was so grateful to my Heavenly Father for His deep love and for being responsible for my needs.
After attending the seminary retreat I was led to Yongan by the Lord. As the temporary wartime base (provincial capital) for the Fujian Province, it had not only drawn various provincial government departments and coastal schools but also numerous refugees from neighboring and local areas. To accommodate this sudden rise in population, the government had built many new structures and bomb-shelters. With incessant bombing by Japanese planes, human lives and possessions were constantly at stake. People had a strong sense of insecurity and needed the gospel desperately.
I was residing in the Sude Elementary School. My workplace was the gospel church right across from the school. Besides Sunday sermons, B ible-study classes and youth fellowships were also held. The provincial government offices were across from the school and one end of its shelter was connected to the gospel church. Whenever air-raid alarms were sounded, I would go there to preach and to distribute tracts to the crowds of people taking shelter there.
One time when the warning sirens sounded, I handed a tract to a woman who refused to accept it. A few minutes later the emergency sirens sounded and everyone ran into the shelter. The enemy planes continuously circled overhead, shooting and bombing, causing the shelter to shake so hard that it almost collapsed. That woman ran to me, embraced me tightly and said, ※Miss, please pray to your God quickly and ask Him to protect us. There are hundreds of people in this shelter!§ Grave danger urged her to seek God. ※Seek and you will find§ (Matthew 7:7). I brought her to the Lord who received her.
Mr. Lin, an elderly man, came regularly for Sunday service. He was the Secretary of the then Min-Zhe Supervisory Commissioner＊s Office of the Central Government. His wife was a devout Christian. While Mr. Lin was not a believer, he did not reject Christianity. One evening after dinner, his wife told him, ※Starting tonight, there＊ll be a revival meeting lasting 7 days. Miss Zheng is going to be the speaker.§ Mr. Lin responded, ※Sermons are delivered by male pastors only; are there female speakers?§ Mrs. Lin replied, ※Yes, and not only that, she＊s young also. Come with me to see for yourself.§ 1 Driven by curiosity, he went along.
Next evening after dinner, Mr. Lin reminded his wife, ※Let＊s hurry; we＊ll be late for the meeting!§ Mrs. Lin was glad that Mr. Lin also came along and they attended for 8 consecutive evenings. Mrs. Lin had the wisdom of being non-inquisitive and simply prayed for her husband. One day when Mrs. Lin entered her bedroom she was surprised to find that the mosquito net was lowered even though it was daytime. Quietly she lifted up the net, only to find her husband kneeling on the bed, praying in a reverent manner. Seeing his wife, he was embarrassed. Mrs. Lin said, ※I knew earlier that you had believed! Thank God that He has heardmy prayers over the years and has saved you.§ Since then he had been coming every Sunday on his own initiative.
1. Within the former Kuomin Party＊s Government there was a Central Supervisory Bureau (one of five Bureaus). Owing to rampant lawlessness and corruption of local officials during the war, the Central Supervisory Bureau had delegated the Min-Zhe Supervisory Branch to inspect and to exercise their given power in taking charge of the situation in Fujiang and Zhejiang Provinces. This Branch was the highest level of government for a Province, with power and authority to deal with those who violate the laws and to discipline accordingly.